MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is once again proving its dominance in the mobile space as the local smartphone market boasted the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia for the first quarter of 2012, according to market research firm GfK.
In a recent report, GfK Asia said the highest growth for the region’s smartphone market was witnessed in the Philippines during the period, as the overall Southeast Asian smartphone market value expands by 62 percent.
Pressed for more details, GfK Asia Regional PR Manager Seraphina Wee told InterAksyon.com that smartphone volume growth in the country grew by a large 203 percent in the first quarter, or triple the original figure during the same period in 2011.
“The increasing availability of smartphones from major manufacturers catering to different price & consumer segments, as well as the growing receptiveness and smartphone literacy of consumers in Philippines [contributed to this growth],” Wee said.
Of all the smartphone types being shipped to the country, the GfK official revealed that Android-powered smartphones continue to dominate the short list, comprising more than 80 percent of smartphone volumes for the first quarter.
In the region, the Google-backed platform commands a strong 50 percent of the overall smartphone market, the GfK report said.
Dominated by a low-income group of mobile users, smartphones from Samsung and local brands such as Cherry Mobile enjoyed the highest rates of adoption in the country, with models retailing for as low as P5,000.
But despite the glowing numbers, the Philippines continues to trail traditional leaders in the region in terms of smartphone penetration: Malaysia and Singapore with 88 percent, and Indonesia with 62 percent.
With Southeast Asian markets nowhere near saturation, GfK Asia Account Director for Digital Technology Gerald Tan said the growth spurt should continue for the next couple of years, especially as prices of smartphones continue to stabilize within the region.
“With much of the populace still not owning a mobile phone, there is no better place for global mobile phone brands to focus their sales and marketing efforts,” he added.